Nick’s Action Movie May Review: GYMKATA


First off.  “Who the hell is Nick?”

I’m going to answer you.  Just gimme a sec.

Can't talk, drinking.

Simply, I’m the roommate of Matt, and I know Chad.  I was there when he ate a McChicken with an apple pie on it. I’m also part of Moon County ( )   But most importantly I’m a big fan of ACTION MOVIE MAY.  So in light of this glorious season to be alive I’m going to introduce you to a rare breed of movie that is so very close to my heart.  A movie that turned a simple, friendly viewing into me getting shitfaced and violently yelling at my friends for not thinking that it’s the greatest movie of all time.  BECAUSE IT IS.   I’m talking about GYMKATA, of course.

The skill of gymnastics.  The kill of karate.You want action?  Gymkata will give it to ya.  So grab a Big Flats and enjoy.

Big Flats: Because she's not coming back...

Let’s go back to the year 1985.  There was U2 and Blondie, and music still on MTV….  What would you do if your Olympic dreams were ruined by President Carter’s boycott of the Moscow Olympics?  Why not make an epic-crappy movie, that’s what gymnastics star Kurt Thomas did.

Judges? ..... Yup, that's a mullet.

Nominated for a Razzie, Kurt Thomas plays Johnathan Cabot, America’s best hope to protect us from the Russians and also…a gymnastics superstar.  He helps freedom and democracy by traveling to Parmistan, a ruthless country that is stuck in the 17th century and also ruled by the comically brilliant Buck Kartalian.


Johnathan must compete in the deadly “Game” to earn one request.  He must win so that the US could request to build a site for the “Star Wars” satellite defense system, which would be choice location for saving the US from those commie bastards.  Enough storyline?  Well, the movie though so too, because most of that isn’t explained until you say “What the hell?” twice.

It opens with a well-framed shot of a “high bar”, in gymnastics and laymen’s terminology.  You get a good look at it because it’s there for a few minutes.  It forces you to watch the credits.  The music is killer.  Good luck getting it out of your head.  The only way to forget is to drink some Big Flats.

Big Flats: cuz fuck shelves

Then once the movie actually begins it’s non-stop action.  We get to witness Johnathan’s stellar gymnastics routine, which is a testament to how much the sport has evolved.  Because right before I quit gymnastics I was able to do every trick that he does in that first scene.

After the opening, Johnathan gets a lesson about Parmistan and why it’s important for the US to win the “Game”.  (remember the “Star Wars” satellite defense something or other?).  Then we meet the sexy Princess Rubali, the King’s daughter who wants to help the Americans…and to also get a “touch”.

Wait...and they're related how?

She doesn’t speak a word until 45 minutes into the movie, has a knife fetish, and apparently all you have to do to make out with her is 4 back flips in a row in front of her.  Movie magic…never happens to me.

Following the scene that gives us all the exposition we need, comes probably the most technically correct montage sequence I’ve ever seen.  There is absolutely no argument that in each clip there is steady improvement.  He walks up 2 stairs on his hands, falls.  7 stairs, falls.  Then all the way up and YEEEEAAAH!  That’s when you know you’re ready to compete in a deadly obstacle course.  If this movie wasn’t built around the idea of gymnastics being used as a fighting style, then it was made to surround this beautiful montage.

Then a series of events happen:  Princess gets kidnapped, some asshole betrays them, Johnathan pwns some henchmen by using (gymnastics + karate = Gymkata, the most impractical but visually appealing fighting style).  AND ALL THIS HAPPENS BEFORE WE GET TO THE GAME!

Once we get to the game, Johnathan along with other competitors must run through some fields, climb a rope up a cliff, run some more, climb a rope across a gorge, run again, go through the Village of the Crazies, then run back to the castle all the while they are being hunted by hooded ninjas lead by Chuck Norris’s evil twin.

S'up Brah

It’s a good thing that around every corner there’s something that’s similar to a gymnastics apparatus that Johnathan can use to save his ass.  In this following scene he uses a pommel horse to fight a mob of crazy people.  I think this scene is pretty badass.  Have you ever tried to do anything on a pommel horse?  Girls…I’m sure balance beam is hard but I’ve done a backflip on that bitch and walked away unscathed.  The pommel horse is a fucking beast that will make you rue the day God created centripetal force.  Look at it…it looks like some torture device.  This thing will bash your shins and knees in as if you owe the mob 100 grand.  Anyways…on with the scene.  BUM BUM BUUUM BUM-BUM-BUM BUUM BUUUUM

So Happy Action Movie May.  Grab some beer, somehow get this movie, invite a few friends over and enjoy some Gymkata. It get’s a perfect 10.

Do it for Kurt Thomas.  If you don’t…the Commies win.



About Nick the Goat

Nick hails from the Hoosier motherland and currently works as a freelancer editing movies and television shows in Los Angeles.

Posted on May 16, 2011, in Movies, Pop Culture and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ll penetrate her mountain fortress.

  2. That pommel horse scene is amazing. Probably the worst mob to ever be formed.

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